Don't Let Bed Bugs In The Bay Area Take Over Your Entire Home

bed bug on the ground

Bed bugs are disturbing pests. Though not harmful like mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, and other bugs that bite, they hide in your home and come out to bite you while you sleep. There is something not quite right about that. On top of creating an unsettling feeling, the mysterious way bed bugs hide and spread makes it difficult to control them. Today, we'll pull the curtain aside and explain some of the mystery. We'll break down a few common myths and gear you up with some tips that can help you keep bed bugs out and prevent them from spreading throughout your home. As always, we want to stop and remind you that our licensed technicians solve bed bug problems. You can trust the Bay Pest team for bed bug pest control in The Bay Area. Feel free to navigate to our contact page or give us a call to schedule treatment. 

How To Tell If It's Bed Bugs Infesting Your Home

bed bug on a bed

Do you know that sometimes professionals get calls to address bed bug infestations and then find out that bed bugs are not the problem? The primary issue is that people go to the internet when they see a bumpy rash and find out that bed bug bites are associated with a prominent rash. This leads them to believe they're getting bitten by these pests, but sometimes a rash is just a rash, and sometimes other bugs are to blame. Bed bug detection can help you determine that you do, in fact, have bed bugs in your home. Knowing how to check for bed bugs will also help you figure out where the bugs are hiding. Why is this important? Because bed bugs tend to stay in one confined location when they first infest a new structure. It isn't smart for them to spread out. They must find a reliable food source, grow a population, and work together to prevent extermination.

"How do I know if I have bed bugs?"

The first step is to properly analyze your bumpy rash. Here are some facts to help you solve the mystery.

  • Numerous, small, bumps are likely the result of baby bed bug bites if these insects are biting you. Bites are often slight when bed bugs first start to bite, and they are numerous because several baby bed bugs can hatch from a batch of eggs. If you pick up adult bed bugs while away from home, you'll likely bring home less than a handful.
  • You may see a baby bed bug. That's the easiest way to tell that your bites are bed bug bites. What do baby bed bugs look like? They are 1/24 of an inch in length, have six legs, and are pale if they haven't acquired a blood meal. If they have fed or are feeding, they will appear red because the skin of a bed bug is transparent.
  • Each bed bug will bite you more than once. Other bugs typically bite once. So you'll have lots of bites even if you only have a small number of bed bugs.
  • Bed bugs feed in one location and move across the skin as they feed. Unlike bites from other pests that only bite once, bed bug bites look like a path on the skin rather than random, rashy bumps.
  • Bed bugs typically bite skin that is exposed during sleep.
  • Bed bugs typically bite the upper body because they're attracted to carbon dioxide.
  • It takes time for bed bug bite wounds to swell into a bump, start to itch, and develop a rash. You may not notice bites until the middle of the day, after you have left your home, which may make you think your bites are from outdoor insects.

Once you analyze your bites, the next step is to consider who is getting the bites and where in your home the bites are occurring. Bed bugs prefer to establish themselves near beds, couches, and living room chairs. These are good places to check first. Here are a few early signs of bed bugs that appear in these places.

  • Fecal spotting. The excrement of bed bugs is black. You'll find tiny stains on fabrics and upholstery.
  • Brown stains. Bed bugs excrete blood. You may see brown stains by themselves or mixed with black stains.
  • Shed skins. Bed bugs shed their skins as they grow. These are yellowish.
  • White eggs. Bed bug eggs are about 1/24 of an inch long and white.  
  • Bed bug pheromones. The scent of bed bugs is often compared to the scent of a musty towel. 

These signs are often hidden. You may see black or brown stains on sheets and pillowcases, but often these stains are hiding in compressed spaces or dark voids. You'll also find the other signs in these places. Here are some examples.

  • Mattress and box spring seams.
  • Under labels and around grommets and vents of mattresses.
  • Between your mattress and box spring.
  • In the recesses of your box spring or bed frame.
  • Under the feet of your bed frame or furniture near your bed.
  • In the seams and stitching of upholstered furniture.
  • In gaps and recesses of hardwood furniture.
  • Under the feet of living room furniture.

Use these tips as a guide to help you find these bugs. Keep a vacuum handy as you search. If you see bed bugs, quickly suck them up. That may stop your infestation and keep them from spreading through your home.          

Now that we've covered the main focus of our discussion, let's turn our attention to myths that can impact your ability to control bed bugs if you can't find them in an isolated location and remove them with your vacuum.

Do Bed Bugs In My Home Mean It's Dirty?

The most important thing to know about bed bugs is that they don't choose to live with you. Bed bugs move passively from one structure to another. When bed bugs are carried from one location to another, they make the best of whatever environment they find themselves in. A cluttered home is certainly a favorable environment because bed bugs like tight spaces and will have less difficulty hiding from view, but it isn't the reason you have bed bugs. Therefore, keeping your home clean won't prevent a bed bug infestation. It will only remove the places where bed bugs hide. To keep them out of your home, you'll need to know how they get into your home in the first place. Here are a few ways to consider:

  • They hide in the tight spaces of luggage and bags.
  • They are attracted to laundry items and may lay eggs in your laundry items.
  • They get into duffel bags, book bags, and pocketbooks.
  • They lay eggs in hardback books, such as school books or library books.
  • They hide in furniture, and you may get bed bugs when you purchase used items.

While cleaning your home can help you deter bed bug activity, it won't drive bed bugs out. Learning how to clean bed bugs up in infested areas with a vacuum or steam cleaner is also helpful, but it won't prevent a bed bug infestation.   

Why It Is So Hard To Prevent Bed Bugs In Your Home?

The last myth we need to examine is the idea that bed bugs only live in dirty or run-down motels and hotels. Can you get bed bugs in these places? Sure. But you can also get them in a well-run, five-star resort. Bed bugs travel with people. If someone has an infestation at home, they can bring these insects into any business that offers sleeping accommodations. But there is even more to this than you might think. People also bring bed bugs with them to school, work, public venues, libraries, and more. You don't have to go on vacation to acquire a bed bug infestation. You can also get bed bugs passively. Here are some examples:

  • A relative or friend can bring bed bugs over to your home.
  • Your kids can bring bed bugs home from a sleepover.
  • Bed bugs pass through walls and may enter your home from an attached and adjacent home.

Keep these facts in mind as you consider how to arrest your infestation. It is critical to stop bed bugs from getting into your home as you work to get rid of them.   

Turn To The Professionals As Soon As You See A Bed Bug

There are ways you can deal with a bed bug problem, but it is helpful to get a professional involved early. Bed bugs are typically hard to control because they have defensive behavior patterns and natural adaptive abilities that protect them from conventional treatments. Professionals are trained and experienced in dealing with these elusive and resilient pests.

Are you in the Bay Area? Contact Bay Pest for bed bug control. We provide industry-leading solutions to all common pest issues in our region. We'll help you find the right solution. You don't have to let the bed bugs bite.   

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